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Thermodynamic Performance Limits of the Vapor Compression Cycle



Piotr A. Domanski, J S. Brown, Jae H. Heo, Mark O. McLinden


This presentation discusses the thermodynamic performance limits of the vapor compression cycle. We have applied evolutionary algorithms to explore the performance of hypothetical refrigerants defined by the thermodynamic parameters used by the extended corresponding states model for fluid properties. We identified optimal values of these parameters required to reach the performance limits. The study confirmed the fundamental trade-off between the coefficient of performance (COP) and volumetric capacity, and indicated refrigerant critical temperature as the dominant parameter influencing the tradeoff. Thermodynamic performance limits depend on the operating conditions and the cycle design. These limits are represented by Pareto fronts developed for the objective functions COP and volumetric capacity. As expected, the performance of current refrigerants falls below the Pareto front limits. We demonstrate that for practical cycles the developed methodology and resulting Pareto fronts are more realistic benchmarks for the performance potentials of refrigerants than is COP alone, which is an efficiency only metric.
Proceedings Title
2014 ASHRAE Winter Conference
Conference Dates
January 18-22, 2014
Conference Location
New York, NY


coefficient of performance, refrigeration, refrigerants, vapor compression cycle


Domanski, P. , Brown, J. , Heo, J. and McLinden, M. (2014), Thermodynamic Performance Limits of the Vapor Compression Cycle, 2014 ASHRAE Winter Conference, New York, NY (Accessed May 18, 2024)


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Created January 19, 2014, Updated February 19, 2017